The morning sun appeared in the sky, shining on the forecourt. The place was run-down, in dire need of repair. The large forecourt had three rows of petrol pumps in front of a shop. A faded sign on the shop door advertised engine oil for sale, although Jack saw only empty shelves through the window. To the left of the shop, stood the garage and an MOT test centre. To the right, a small car park. Jack noticed that all but one of the petrol pumps had signs saying OUT OR ORDER.
Jimmy stood in front of the pumps with his faithful dog by his side. As Jack strolled over to him, he noticed Jimmy was also smoking a cigarette. Jack finished his, and flicked it away, before walking onto the forecourt.
‘Morning, Jack!’ said Jimmy, cheerfully.
‘Hey, Jimmy … how you doing?’
‘Sciatica is playin’ up,’ said Jimmy. ‘And I’ve got gout. Apart from that, I’m as fit as a fiddle!’ He hesitated for a moment. ‘Oh, but I gotta get up at least three times a night to take a piss. That’s what happens when you’ve got a swollen prostate!’
Jack smirked. He was having difficulty getting to grips with Jimmy’s peculiar sense of humour.
‘Enough about me, how are you, Jack?’ asked Jimmy, grinning crazily.
‘Well, Jimmy,’ said Jack, exasperated, ‘if I told you about the week I’ve had, you wouldn’t believe me.’ His eyes fixed on the cigarette Jimmy was smoking.
Jimmy took a last drag and threw the butt on the forecourt. He immediately put another one in his mouth. He flicked his lighter constantly trying to get a light, but to no avail. ‘You got a light, Jack?’
Jack reached for his lighter, flicked it open, and lit Jimmy’s cigarette. ‘Are you sure you should be smoking next to the petrol pumps?’ Jack asked, warily.
Jimmy, seeing the look on Jack’s face, chortled heartily. ‘Hell, I don’t care! I’ve got the dick cancer. I’m going to die anyway. I’d rather go up in a blaze of glory! Besides, there’s no fuel in these pumps.’ He hesitated, ‘Well, there’s a wee drop in one of ‘em.’
‘Anyway, Jimmy, how’s the car?’ Jack asked feeling slightly more relieved.
‘Car’s good … but your engine’s knackered! I gotta get a part for your radiator. Hope you don’t mind, but I ordered one from Edinburgh. On a normal day, it would take two to three days to get here. But—’
‘What’s the problem?’ Jack cut in.
‘Well, there’s been another landslide near the Rest and Be Thankful,’ said Jimmy.
The Rest and Be Thankful was a picnic area between the freshwater Loch Lomond and the sea inlet, Loch Fyne.
‘This time it’s really big,’ Jimmy babbled. ‘Hell’s Glen is well and truly blocked. It’s like my gallbladder, except you can remove that. Ha-ha, cough cough!’ he chuckled. ‘There’s nowt gettin’ in and out of here for at least a week. Hope you had no plans about leaving…
Title: Darkview: Psychosis
Author: R.J. Bathgate & M.J. Hall
Genre: Psychological Thriller / Horror
Take a journey into the disturbed, delusional mind of Jack Cyrus … take a journey into Darkview … a small, remote coastal town, deep within the Scottish Highlands. The sleepy, isolated spot bears a sinister, horrific history, shrouded by a chilling secret. A secret one man must unveil, which will ravage his soul … and sanity!
Jack Cyrus is in damnation! After witnessing the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, he has become plagued by dark memories and devilish visions, the result of post traumatic stress. Compounding his trauma, he is faced with the sudden death of his wife, from cancer, after returning home to Scotland. Lost and alone, and struggling to forget the horrific circumstances surrounding her passing, Jack has developed schizophrenia, experiencing chaotic, disturbed thoughts and demonic hallucinations.
On the sixth anniversary of his wife’s death, Jack receives a cryptic, hand written letter from her, telling him she is still alive. Suffering and held captive, she pleads with him to return to Darkview, the place she spent her last days, and rescue her from purgatory. Upon arrival in Darkview, strange things start happening, and what appears to be a centuries old mystery, starts unravelling itself. Jack must piece together the clues and lost fragments of his sanity to solve the unravelling mystery. Is any of it real, or is it just a manifestation of Jack’s mind, or another facet of his schizophrenia?
R.J. Bathgate, born and bred in Scotland, is the creator and co-author of Darkview: Psychosis. A father of two, and enormously proud of his heritage, he has studied psychology, social sciences, and is currently working towards an advanced diploma in psychotherapeutic counselling and hypnotherapy. His heart lies with new experiences and an interest into the unknown, particularly with writing. He has travelled the world from the dusty, wildlife-filled plains of Zambia, to the glaciers of Alaska, and the soaring peaks of the Canadian Rockies. He is extremely fond of NHL ice hockey, video games, good films, fine wine, and Jack Daniels. He originally wrote Darkview as a screenplay when living in Canada, but upon returning to Scotland, researched mental health issues, namely psychosis and schizophrenia. Inspired by this research, he brought in his lifelong friend, M.J. Hall, to help create a more realistic take on Darkview. The result is a story that combines traditional Scottish history with real life, catastrophic world events, told through the eyes of the protagonist, Jack Cyrus.
M.J. Hall was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, at the turn of the eighties. Despite being born in England, he identifies more with his ‘adopted’ country, Scotland – he’s lived there since he was four, and his late maternal grandfather was Scottish, too. He presently lives in Edinburgh and is currently studying Environmental Science at the Open University, but has always dreamed of a career in music or writing, or both. He is vegetarian, loves animals (especially cats) and is devoted to his black and white moggy, Tahlula. He humbly admits being just a small voice in a big chorus, and his life changed for the better, or at least would never be the same, when his lifelong and best friend – R.J. Bathgate – invited him to collaborate on Darkview.